Music
190 voters

The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina

Updated May 10, 2019 2.3k votes 190 voters 9.2k views101 items

List RulesOnly artists born or raised in South Carolina or bands formed in South Carolina.

Here are the best artists and bands from South Carolina. Particularly known for its influences in the bluegrass, country, R&B, rock, and jazz genres, the Palmetto State has produced a number of memorable acts over the decades. It is also the birthplace of beach music, so if you have ever boogied while hanging out with your friends on the shoreline, then you can thank South Carolina. The best musical artists from South Carolina come from all over the state, but they have all entertained audiences with their talent. 

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, was born in Barnwell but later moved to Georgia when he was still a child. South Carolina is also the state where Hootie & the Blowfish. Singer Darius Rucker and lead guitarist Mark Bryan met when they attended the University of South Carolina. Many bands have similar stories, and some other big bands that got their start in the state include Band of Horses, Crossfade, and The Marshall Tucker Band. Other popular South Carolina artists include Eartha Kitt, Jeezy, Carolina Liar, and Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty.

Have you ever thought about who the most famous musical artists from South Carolina are? You will definitely see some big names on this list that come from a range of decades. After you read through them, vote for the singers and bands you like best. 

  • James Brown1
    66
    16

    James Brown

    Hip hop music, Doo-wop

    AlbumsLive at the Apollo, Star Time, Funky Christmas, Santa's Got a Brand New Bag, I Got You

    James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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  • The Marshall Tucker Band2
    58
    11

    The Marshall Tucker Band

    Rock music, Country rock

    AlbumsCarolina Christmas, Where We All Belong, Beyond the Horizon, The Marshall Tucker Band, Searchin' for a Rainbow

    The Marshall Tucker Band is an American rock band from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Noted for...  more

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  • Darius Rucker3
    71
    29

    Darius Rucker

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsCharleston, SC 1966, Back to Then, True Believers, Learn to Live

    Darius Carlos Rucker (born May 13, 1966) is an American singer and songwriter. He first gained...  more

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  • Hootie & the Blowfish4
    63
    23

    Hootie & the Blowfish

    Jangle pop, Heartland rock

    AlbumsCracked Rear View, Hootie & the Blowfish, Fairweather Johnson, Musical Chairs, Kootchypop

    "Hootie" is a nickname for the following people: Hootie Ingram (born 1933), former Clemson...  more

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  • Chubby Checker5
    38
    5

    Chubby Checker

    Rock music, Rock and roll

    AlbumsThe Best of Chubby Checker: Cameo Parkway 1959-1963, You Just Don't Know (What You Did to Me) / Two Hearts, Rosie / Lazy Elsie Molly, 20 Twistin' Hits, Limbo Rock / Let's Limbo Some More

    Chubby Checker (born Ernest Evans; October 3, 1941) is an American rock 'n roll singer and...  more

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  • Dizzy Gillespie6
    35
    4

    Dizzy Gillespie

    Afro-Cuban jazz, Jazz

    AlbumsNight in Tunisia, The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big Four, Jazz at Massey Hall, Sonny Side Up, Giants of Jazz

    John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (; October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz...  more

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  • Eartha Kitt7
    41
    11

    Eartha Kitt

    Torch song, Cabaret

    AlbumsThat Bad Eartha, My Heart Belongs to Daddy, Purr-fect: Greatest Hits, I Love Men, Purrfect: The Ultimate Collection

    Eartha Kitt (born Eartha Mae Keith, January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008) was an American...  more

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  • Edwin McCain8
    34
    6

    Edwin McCain

    Rock music, Alternative rock

    AlbumsMisguided Roses, Messenger, The Austin Sessions, Honor Among Thieves, Far From Over

    Edwin McCain (born January 20, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. His songs...  more
  • Band of Horses9
    36
    13

    Band of Horses

    Rock music, Alternative country

    AlbumsEverything All the Time, Cease to Begin, Mirage Rock, Tour EP, Infinite Arms

    Band of Horses is an American rock band formed in 2004 in Seattle by Ben Bridwell. The band...  more

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  • Needtobreathe10
    33
    10

    Needtobreathe

    Christian alternative rock, Rock music

    AlbumsThe Heat, Daylight, Rivers in the Wasteland, The Outsiders, Live Horses EP

    Needtobreathe is an American Christian rock band from Seneca, South Carolina. The band is...  more

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  • Jeezy11
    35
    13

    Jeezy

    Hip hop music, Gangsta rap

    AlbumsLet's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, The Inspiration, The Recession, Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition, Hood Politics

    Jay Wayne Jenkins (born September 28, 1977), known professionally as Jeezy (formerly Young...  more

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  • Aaron Tippin12
    30
    7

    AlbumsCall of the Wild, Read Between the Lines, What This Country Needs, You've Got to Stand for Something, Tool Box

    Aaron Dupree Tippin (born July 3, 1958) is an American country music artist and record...  more

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  • Toro y Moi13
    28
    7

    Toro y Moi

    Indie pop, Synthpop

    AlbumsAnything in Return, June 2009, Underneath the Pine, Causers of This, FACT Mix 219: Toro y Moi

    Chaz Bear (born Chazwick Bradley Bundick; November 7, 1986), known professionally as Toro y...  more
  • Rob Thomas14
    31
    12

    Rob Thomas

    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul

    Albums...Something to Be, A New York Christmas, Cradlesong, ...Something More, This Is How a Heart Breaks

    Robert Kelly Thomas (born February 14, 1972) is an American singer, songwriter, record...  more

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  • Crossfade15
    29
    13

    Crossfade

    Rock music, Heavy metal

    AlbumsCrossfade, Falling Away, We All Bleed, Cold, Colors

    Crossfade is an American rock band originating from Columbia, South Carolina. Their current...  more
  • Peabo Bryson16
    24
    8

    Peabo Bryson

    Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music

    AlbumsBorn To Love, A Whole New World, Through the Fire, Straight From the Heart, Anthology

    Peabo Bryson (born Robert Peapo Bryson; April 13, 1951, given name changed from "Peapo " to...  more
  • Jump, Little Children17
    21
    5

    Jump, Little Children

    Indie rock, Baroque pop

    AlbumsVertigo, Magazine, The Licorice Tea Demos, Between the Dim and the Dark, Buzz

    Jump, Little Children was a band formed in 1991 in the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina....  more
  • Joe Bennett & The Sparkletones18
    19
    2

    Joe Bennett & The Sparkletones

    The Sparkletones were an American rock and roll/rockabilly group from Spartanburg, South...  more
  • Iron & Wine19
    23
    8

    Iron & Wine

    Folk music, Folk rock

    AlbumsThe Shepherd's Dog, The Creek Drank the Cradle, Our Endless Numbered Days, Kiss Each Other Clean, In the Reins

    Iron () is a chemical element with symbol Fe (from Latin: ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is...  more

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  • Carolina Liar20
    23
    8

    Carolina Liar

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsComing to Terms, Wild Blessed Freedom, Drown

    Carolina Liar is an American alternative rock band. Lead vocalist Chad Wolf is originally from...  more
  • Lee Brice21
    27
    13

    Lee Brice

    Country

    AlbumsHard 2 Love, Love Like Crazy, A Woman Like You, I Don't Dance (Single), Hard to Love

    Lee Brice (born Kenneth Mobley Brice, Jr., June 10, 1979) is an American country music singer...  more

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  • Angie Stone22
    20
    6

    Angie Stone

    Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

    AlbumsA Gangster and a Gentleman, The Id, Instant Vintage, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 3: Streetsoul

    Angie Stone (born Angela Laverne Brown; December 18, 1961) is an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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  • David Ball23
    16
    2

    David Ball

    Country

    AlbumsThinkin' Problem, Play, Amigo, Starlite Lounge, David Ball

    David Ball (born July 9, 1953) is an American country music singer-songwriter and musician....  more
  • Gus Aiken24
    16
    2

    Gus Aiken

    Augustus "Gus" Aiken (July 26, 1902 in Charleston, South Carolina – April 1, 1973 in New York...  more
  • Arthur Smith25
    Arthur Smith (April 1, 1921 – April 3, 2014) was an American musician, songwriter, and...  more